Bulangalire did not hesitate to speak up as we talked about what equality means for women and girls in Congo. “I’m very angry about the discrimination,” she said. “My father told me I shouldn’t go to school, that my brother should. My father knows he owes me a debt for not putting me in school.”
In her book A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie writes, “Teach her to reject likeability. Her job is not to make herself likeable, her job is to be her full self, a self that is honest and aware of the equal humanity of other people. … teach her to be honest. And kind. And brave. Encourage her to speak her mind, to say what she really thinks, to speak truthfully. And then praise her when she does.” (Eighth Suggestion)
Bulangire speaks her mind, sharing her story in order to change her world: “I got married, and the marriage ended, and I had to move back home. I told my father, see, if I’d had an education, I could be teaching right now.”
Bulangalire may have missed her opportunity for a formal education, but thanks to support from Action Kivu’s generous donors, she is learning the latest in organic farming, using new skills to grow nutritious food for her family, her community, and to sell to the Congo Peace School so that the students eat healthy meals, grown locally!
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